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French Compound Aquarium Microscope

Designed and crafted by a French artisan in the late nineteenth century, this microscope was probably used with an aquarium or in the examination of surfaces. The model illustrated below was redrawn from photographs of the original microscope, which was photographed and described by Gerard Turner in his excellent catalog of microscopes from the Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Florence, Italy.

The microscope is mounted on a large rectangular wooden base that is painted black and drilled with a support hole to support the pillar. A rack mechanism positioned on the pillar is utilized for vertical movement of a tube supporting an articulated arm, which holds the body tube. A collar is mounted at the upper arm extremity by a split pin, and the barrel of the microscope slips into the collar. The objective contains a single lens at one end of the body tube, and the Huygenian eyepiece at the other end contains a pointer. The microscope can also be used for dissection.

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